Cravings happen to the best of us, but for chocoholics like me, the chocolate itch is only satisfied by several pieces of single-wrapped Hershey’s Kisses. Now, maybe I’ll go for the M&Ms; not only am I inclined to eat less of them, but I will also have this justification: The M&Ms bag is much less wasteful than the individually wrapped Hershey’s Kisses. The difference goes beyond the bag; candy wrappers are not only hard to recycle, but are also coined as the unrecyclable “stepchild” of waste management. Why the bad reputation? There are simply too many wrappers and too little valuable material between them to bother with recycling, according to Recyclebank.com. What really distinguishes candy wrappers from mass-recycled items like plastic bottles is as much about the amount of attention surrounding the issue. Since candy wrappers are often just as quickly thrown to the bin as their corresponding calories are to the back of our minds, we forget that they do indeed take up some space. Since there is not one major commercial way to recycle, we environmentalists can take the call to be creative. From starting a business, to motivating your school, to making cool arts and crafts, the possibilities are endless. If you asked Eco Fashions where you should throw a candy wrapper, the answer would be “around your shoulder,” in the form of one of their purses! The handmade specialty line is not only stylish, durable and green, but the purses are also made from a rehabilitation center that gives teenagers a second chance to positively contribute to society. The San Francisco-based company works with a rehabilitation center similar to juvenile hall in Mexico City. The teens and young adults are given a choice to do rigorous work with very low pay, or make these candy wrapper products and earn five times that amount — often enough to support the workers’ families. Many do. Taking great effort to improve a community is nothing new to the public education system, and schools are the perfect place to gather candy wrappers. Thanks to the Candy Wrapper Brigade by Terra Cycle, anyone 18 years or older from a school or organization can join in the company’s recycling efforts by starting a group. See the site for all of the considerations you should make before starting a group. If all fails to pan out, you can still commit to projects on your own. Take your own will to use trash and make treasure, combine it with creativity, and what do you get? You can take candy wrappers and make collages, flowerpots and more! See for yourself how you can cut, crush and glue the paper to make cool projects. So, the next time you get a sweet tooth, indulge — in both the candy and a craft or two.
How Hershey’s Kisses Kill the Environment
The aluminum foil wrapper? Too small to recycle. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and reuse them.